— by Alina Ladyzhensky, Associate Director of Advancement Communications
Olive Hayes ’20 Art Education Hero Alumni Heroes comic book style graphic with Olive's headshot
Olive Hayes’ Superpowers:
  1. Multitasking
  2. Love for learning
  3. Getting paint everywhere on everything

Olive Hayes ’20 has been keeping busy since graduating from Moore. The first self-described “big move” that she made after completing her Art Education degree was renting her own art studio.

“I was fortunate to get a teaching job quickly, which allowed me to invest in my art more,” says Hayes, whose chosen mediums include both painting and drawing. “Having a separate space to work was so essential for me.”

The decision paid off: in 2020, her work was included in the show The NOW at A WAY Gallery in British Columbia, Canada. That same year, she was an artist in residence at Moore. In 2021, Hayes had her first solo exhibition, a collection of small-scale drawings entitled The Many Faces of Olive Hayes, at MARCH Gallery in New York, NY. More recently, Hayes’ watercolor work was included in the show To whom do I owe the power behind my voice?, a cross-generational survey of female Philadelphia artists that took place at Commonweal Gallery in January and February of 2023.

While a student at Moore, Hayes received the Deborah Deery ’01, ’12 Memorial Award for Excellence in Art Education in 2020, the Fanny Brennan Scholarship for Excellence in Painting in 2019, and the Virginia E. Lewis Scholarship Fund from the Pittsburgh Foundation in 2018, among others.

After graduating, Hayes worked as an early elementary and middle school art teacher before deciding to take a step back from teaching to dedicate more time to her studio practice, though she plans to return to working in higher education in the future.

“I didn’t expect to be showing or selling my work this early in my art career,” she says. “I also didn’t expect to take time away from teaching. I’m really grateful to be able to do these things so quickly after graduation.”

In the meantime, Hayes has continued to invest in her own artistic development by taking courses at the NYC Crit Club. She also spent a month in Italy with the Roma Art Program, a summer fine art program recommended to her by Moore professor Alice Oh.

“Moore’s Art Education program definitely prepared me for both a life in teaching and a life in art,” she says. “I appreciate that the Art Education and Fine Arts students take most of their classes together. My instructors really supported me throughout my degree, and still support me after graduation. It’s wonderful to know how much they care about their students’ growth.”

Hayes’ advice for current and future students at Moore is to take and appreciate all criticism and advice, but to keep their own objectives in mind—and to not get too caught up in over-explaining their work.

“Sometimes you won’t know what your art is about until years later. That’s okay! Be thoughtful about what you make, but you don’t always need a reason for everything. You’ll know it later,” she advises. “Work your hardest at finding out what you love doing the most, and then base your goals around